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Jerusalem's main market is the souk in the Old City, spread over a warren of intersecting streets. This is where much of Arab Jerusalem shops. It's awash with color and redolent with the clashing scents of exotic spices. Baskets of produce vie for attention with hanging shanks of lamb, fresh fish on ice, and fresh-baked delicacies. Food stalls are interspersed with purveyors of fabrics and shoes. The baubles and trinkets of the tourist trade often seem secondary, except along the well-trodden paths of the Via Dolorosa, David Street, and Christian Quarter Road.
Haggling with merchants in the Arab market—a time-honored tradition—is not always the good-natured experience it once was. It is not always easy to identify the honest merchants among the many whose jewelry, antiquities, leather, and embroidery are often not what they claim. Unless you know what you want, know how much it's really worth, and enjoy the sometimes aggressive give-and-take of bargaining, you're better off just enjoying the local color and doing your shopping in the less crowded New City. Women should watch their purses and dress discreetly.
- Address: Christian and Muslim Quarters, Jerusalem, 91140
- Location: Old City
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